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Attitude-dependent altruism, turnout and voting

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  • Julio Rotemberg

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Abstract

This paper presents a goal-oriented model of political participation based on two psychological assumptions. The first is that people are more altruistic towards individuals that agree with them and the second is that people's well-being rises when other people share their personal opinions. The act of voting is then a source of vicarious utility because it raises the well-being of individuals that agree with the voter. Substantial equilibrium turnout emerges with nontrivial voting costs and modest altruism. The model can explain higher turnout in close elections as well as votes for third-party candidates with no prospect of victory. For certain parameters, these third party candidates lose votes to more popular candidates, a phenomenon often called strategic voting. For other parameters, the model predicts "vote-stealing" where the addition of a third candidate robs a viable major candidate of electoral support.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 140 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 223-244

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:140:y:2009:i:1:p:223-244

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

Related research

Keywords: Altruism; Political participation; Voting; Third-party candidates; D72; D64;

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References

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  1. Rotemberg, Julio J., 2008. "Minimally acceptable altruism and the ultimatum game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(3-4), pages 457-476, June.
  2. Timothy J. Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1995. "The Swing Voter's Curse," Discussion Papers 1064, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Brennan, Geoffrey & Hamlin, Alan, 1998. " Expressive Voting and Electoral Equilibrium," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1-2), pages 149-75, April.
  4. Myerson, Roger B., 2000. "Large Poisson Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 7-45, September.
  5. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1985. "Standardization, Compatibility, and Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(1), pages 70-83, Spring.
  6. Timothy J. Feddersen, 2004. "Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 99-112, Winter.
  7. Copeland, Cassandra & Laband, David N, 2002. " Expressiveness and Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 110(3-4), pages 351-63, March.
  8. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  9. Timothy Feddersen & Alvaro Sandroni, 2006. "A Theory of Participation in Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1271-1282, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Massimiliano Landi & Mauro Sodini, 2010. "An Evolutionary Analysis of Turnout With Conformist Citizens," Working Papers 25-2010, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  2. R. Aytimur & Aristotelis Boukouras & Robert Schwager, 2014. "Voting as a signaling device," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 55(3), pages 753-777, April.
  3. Kovenock, Dan & Roberson, Brian, 2009. "Non-partisan 'Get-out-the-vote' efforts and policy outcomes," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2009-07, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  4. Giebe, Thomas & Gürtler, Oliver, 2012. "Optimal contracts for lenient supervisors," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 403-420.
  5. Alan Hamlin & Colin Jennings, 2009. "Expressive Political Behaviour: Foundations, Scope and Implications," Working Papers 0918, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
  6. R. Emre Aytimur & Aristotelis Boukouras & Robert Schwager, 2012. "Voting as a Signaling Device," CESifo Working Paper Series 3700, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Adam Pigoń, 2013. "What Affects Voter Turnout? Macro and Micro Evidence from Poland," Collegium of Economic Analysis Annals, Warsaw School of Economics, Collegium of Economic Analysis, issue 32, pages 77-105.
  8. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2011. "Charitable Giving When Altruism and Similarity are Linked," NBER Working Papers 17585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2014. "Behavioral public choice: A survey," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 14/03, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..

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